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Juan Cole has a blog post about western leaders of African descent. Informative.

Chris Matthews on MSNBC made the comment that if he won the presidency, Barack Obama would be the first “Western” leader of African descent. He then wondered if he was right, and whether there had been an African Roman Emperor.

The construction of a “West” is of course artificial. And “African” covers a very large number of ethnic groups. And one would want to avoid the excesses of Afro-Centrism. But if we play the game in the terms Matthews set it out, the answer is: Hardly the first. Here are some “for examples” with no intention to be comprehensive. Readers are free to add more.

And then he lists a few. Good stuff.

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